Sunday, 4 December 2016

Lucasfilm screens 28 minutes of Rogue One



With less than two weeks to go until Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is released in theatres. Journalists (alas, not me) were invited to a press junket at Lucasfilm.

Disney didn't impose an embargo. The journalists' spoiler-free reactions on social media, to the 28 minutes of screened footage, have been positive with praise given to the action, scope and K-S2O. Many dismissed the incessant focus on summer reshoots citing Rogue One looks spectacular and opens with a breathtaking jolt.

Someone, who has purportedly seen an edit of Rogue One, said the Star Wars spin-off was their third favourite entry in the blockbusting franchise, following The Empire Strikes Back and A New Hope. If that's the widespread reaction after 14th December...

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Thursday, 24 November 2016

Star Wars' future to be decided in January



With the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story less than 3 weeks away, speculation surrounds whether or not the Star Wars franchise will switch to standalone movies following the conclusion of the sequel trilogy in 2019.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said: “There are [possible movies] that we have been talking a lot about. But we are planning to sit down in January, since we will have had The Force Awakens released, now Rogue One, and we’ve finished shooting Episode VIII.

“We have enough information where we can step back a little bit and say, What are we doing? What do we feel is exciting? And what are some of the things we want to explore?”

Hollywood composer Michael Giacchino, who replaced Alexandre Desplat on Rogue One, talked to Entertainment Weekly about his approach to orchestrating the upcoming standalone Star Wars movie directed by Gareth Edwards.

"It is a film that is in many ways a really great World War II movie, and I loved that about it. But it also has this huge, huge heart at the center of it, and that was the one thing I just didn’t want to discount. Yes, it’s an action movie, and it’s a Star Wars film, and it has all the things that you would come to expect and love about that, but I didn’t want to forget that it was also an incredibly emotional movie as well. That was what really pulled me in. I love working on projects that have an emotional center to them – and not manufactured emotion either, even though, you know, [laughs] it’s a weird thing to say because literally that’s all we’re doing, manufacturing emotion."

This maybe a standalone movie, but there'll be familiar orchestral themes:

"It does borrow from traditions that both John [Williams] and George Lucas borrowed from when they made the original Star Wars, you know. George was looking at Flash Gordon, the old serials, and John was looking at [Gustav] Holst and different composers along the way to get a baseline for what he wanted to communicate. There is a wonderful musical language that John put together for the original films. I wanted to honor that vernacular but still do something new with it, something that was still me in a way."

Would you like to see the Skywalker saga concluded with 9 movies as franchise creator George Lucas originally intended? Let me know in the comments below.

May I take this opportunity to wish US readers a happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, 21 November 2016

Rogue One tickets go on sale with 'Dream' TV Spot



Despite a lifelong passion for film, I'm not one to bother with booking cinema tickets at midnight. However, the Star Wars franchise is a very rare exception to that rule and, as with The Force Awakens last December, I've booked tickets for a matinee showing on Friday 16th December.

Booking tickets for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at midnight was, inevitably, an adventure unto itself. Vue cinemas' website strained under the power of the Force, as avid fans tried to get into the virtual queue early. However, a kindly soul, on Twitter, suggested using Quick Book, and tickets were safely secured.

As per last year, I'll be enforcing a social media blackout from 14th December until after seeing Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), with the aid of her rebel friends, steal the Death Star plans in Disney's prequel to the original Star Wars trilogy. Yes, the spin-off movie directly dovetails into A New Hope.

To coincide with the sale of tickets, Lucasfilm has dropped a new TV Spot. Director Gareth Edwards' movie has a gritty tone and desperate dynamism. An allegory for these times.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke joins Star Wars spin-off



Emilia Clarke, best known for her role as Daenerys, the Mother of Dragons, in Game of Thrones, joins the cast of the untitled Han Solo Star Wars spin-off movie directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The LEGO Movie).

Clarke stars alongside Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover, who play Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, respectively. Rumours suggest she'll be Han Solo's wife before the smuggler met Princess Leia aboard the Death Star.

Like Rogue One, which is released this December, the next Star Wars spin-off will be set prior to events in A New Hope.

The Han Solo movie begins shooting in January and is slated for release in May 2018.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Survival writer returns to Doctor Who



Doctor Who Magazine has confirmed Rona Munro, writer of Survival, the final story of Doctor Who to air before the series' 16-year hiatus (TV Movie notwithstanding), reprises her role in series 10.

Munro has written episode 9, which includes guest stars Rebecca Benson (Shetland), Daniel Kerr (4 O’Clock Club), Juwon Adedokun (Damilola, Our Loved Boy), Brian Vernel (The Last Kingdom), Ben Hunter, Aaron Phagura (HIM), Sam Adewunmi (The Missing) and Billy Matthews (The Hollow Crown).

Earlier this week The Mirror ran a story suggesting Chris Chibnall, incoming series showrunner, wants a 'clean slate' for series 11 in 2018.

Survival is available to own on BBC DVD.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Eddie Redmayne wants to play Doctor Who



Eddie Redmayne told BBC Radio 1 that he'd be open to taking on the role of Doctor Who amidst speculation Peter Capaldi would exit the popular television drama, alongside series showrunner Steven Moffat, in 2017.

“Would I do it? Yeah! It’s a great show", he said. "I do see the resemblance. I see the scarf, I see the coat, I see the bow tie. [...] I’m also a huge fan of those actors, I love Matt Smith. I suppose the briefcase [in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them] has a TARDIS vibe to it – so yeah!”

Redmayne did add a caveat: “It looks like a lot of work. I’ve spoken to Matt [Smith] and those schedules are pretty rigorous. Maybe when I’m 73!”

Eddie Redmayne's co-star in The Theory of Everything, Felicity Jones, has already appeared in Doctor Who as Robina Redmond in the David Tennant serial The Unicorn and the Wasp.

Do you think Eddie Redmayne looks the part? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Broadchurch writer wants 'clean slate' for Doctor Who



Doctor Who recently returned to television screens in spin-off series Class and will be seen next during a Children in Need special on BBC One this Friday.

Steven Moffat ends his tenure as series showrunner with the Christmas special in 2017. The Mirror reports his successor, Chris Chibnall, wants a clean slate and a return to David Tennant and Matt Smith eras with a younger Doctor and companion at the helm of the TARDIS controls.

This doesn't bode well for new companion Pearl Mackie (Bill), who joins Peter Capaldi aboard the TARDIS next spring. Presumably, she'll leave, along with Capaldi, during the Christmas special.

Merchandise sales have dipped since Capaldi took over from Matt Smith. Smith has recently received plaudits for his portrayal of Prince Philip in Netflix's lavish £100 million series The Crown, which is currently streaming on the service. And it would be remiss to overlook former companion Jenna Coleman's successful depiction of Victoria for ITV.

Chibnall's writing team will work in parallel with Moffat's for a seamless handover. This is all speculation, but a series reboot sounds increasingly likely.

Would you like to see a clean sweep? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Rogue One international trailer has more Darth Vader



With just over a month to go, Disney's dropped a new international trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that unleashes the destructive power of the dreaded Death Star!



Darth Vader enters the fray as Jyn Erso assembles her band of rebels and is that a Kyber crystal? There's a suggestion someone maybe Force-sensitive and a confrontation between Jyn and Vader seems inevitable.

Hollywood composer Michael Giacchino is orchestrating the soundtrack before returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Director Gareth Edwards' Star Wars spin-off opens in theatres 16th December.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Duracell Star Wars commercial spreads holiday cheer!



R2-D2 was the first Star Wars action figure gifted to me after being discharged from children's hospital in the winter of 1977. Duracell's latest tie-in with the Star Wars franchise evokes cherished childhood memories with its premise to help raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, in the US, this holiday season.



"We wanted to continue our partnership with Star Wars this year and continue celebrating the power that imaginative play has on kids," Duracell marketing director Ramon Velutini told Adweek. "We came across the most incredible insight: Kids at hospitals continue to act as kids even during tough circumstances, and imaginative play plays a big role in their ability to cope during their healing process."

He adds: "We got the use of a newly opened hospital wing that had yet to be put to use. The exteriors were shot outside of a disused train factory, and all of the Star Wars costumes and gear were flown in separately by Lucasfilm."

The commercial suggests R2-D2 may cameo in the upcoming standalone Star Wars movie.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theatres 16th December.

Monday, 31 October 2016

It’s a Stranger Things Christmas, Charlie Brown



It's Halloween! So, here's an adorable animated short that mashes Stranger Things and Peanuts. Two great tastes that taste great together.



The voice-over work is on point and there's spoilers for those who haven't seen Netflix's ode to Hollywood cinema of the 1980s.